Google this afternoon announced that it is launching a new Google Domains service. In an effort to continue its reach to small businesses, the company has announced that it is, for the first time, offering a domain registration service. Google says that its small business-focused division decided to create Google Domains because, according to its research, 55 percent of small businesses still do not have a website.
Google Domains is still in an early, invite only beta, but the company says that it hopes to launch to all consumers soon. Currently, website creation tools Wix, Weebly, Shopify, and Squarespace have all signed up as partners. In addition to being able to register a new web address with Google Domains, you’ll also have the ability to transfer for names from other services into Google’s offering.
One big advantage to Google Domains is that it won’t charge extra for setting an address private. Google will offer 100 email addresses on the domain for free, in addition as many as 100 sub-domains. Google Domains will also use the company’s own DNS servers, which should make for fast response times.
You can request an invite code for the beta now. Read Google’s full announcement below:
Starting to test Google Domains
It’s 2014 and it seems obvious, but across laptops, tablets and mobile devices, a website is one of the first places people go to find information about a business. But amazingly, our research shows that 55% of small businesses still don’t have one.
So as we explore ways to help small businesses succeed online (through tools like Google My Business), we thought it made sense to look more closely at the starting point of every business’s online presence – a website. And that starts with a domain name.
We’re beginning to invite a small number of people to kick the tires on Google Domains, a domain registration service we’re in the process of building. Businesses will be able to search, find, purchase and transfer the best domain for their business – whether it’s .com, .biz, .org, or any of the wide range of new domains that are being released to the Web.
Google Domains isn’t fully-featured yet, but we’re giving a small group of people the ability to buy and transfer domains through it and send feedback on their experience. (You currently need an invitation code to do so, sorry!) We want input on all the ways we can help make finding, buying, transferring and managing a domain a simple and transparent experience. We also want to make sure our customer support and infrastructure works flawlessly, and that we have the right additional services (like mobile website creation tools and hosting services from a range of providers, as well as domain management support). We’re working with some of the top website building providers like +Shopify, +Squarespace, +Weebly, and +Wix.com to help make that happen.
While we’re still building out all of the features, our goal is to make Google Domains more widely available soon. You can check out the first cut of what we’re working on at http://www.google.com/domains.